Adrian Sarchet (a.k.a “The Sea Donkey”) is now in full training mode for his 24-hour non-stop swim in August to raise funds towards the accessibility elements of the La Vallette regeneration project which is nearing completion. A significant part of the £150,000 fundraising target is to meet the cost of the assisted access ramp into the Ladies Pool and to fund improved accessibility to the changing rooms and café, including a lift between the café and the upper floor.
Local charity Vive La Vallette LBG is encouraging corporate and social teams to fundraise and provide moral support to Adrian during the Challenge by entering a team of up to 6 people to swim alongside him in hourly slots throughout the 24-hour period. The Sea Donkey 24 Hour Swim Challenge starts at 3pm on Saturday 20 August 2022 at the Ladies Pool.
Fundraising for the Challenge is off to a flying start thanks to major donations already received totalling £64,000. The most recent donation is a generous sum of £31,000 from the Friends of La Vallette LBG which adds to earlier donations from The Guernsey Community Foundation and The John Ramplin Trust.
Friends of La Vallette LBG represents the hundreds of local swimmers who have been instrumental in maintaining the Ladies Pool over the years. From “The Wet Friends” who fought to keep one of the changing rooms in use after Beau Sejour opened (and decorated and cleaned that room as volunteers) to the huge group of volunteers who undertook the annual process of cleaning and repairing the Pool. The £31,000 represents monies from the keyholders to the changing rooms, monies from the sale of shower-tokens and monies received from a significant charitable donation.
Adrian is delighted that the Challenge has captured the public’s imagination and has already raised substantial sums towards the target of £150,000.
‘The public’s response to date has been inspirational. I am profoundly grateful to all the brave people who have agreed to swim by my side and/or to contribute to the fundraising effort. I am humbled by the Friends of La Vallette LBG’s donation, which represents the combined goodwill of hundreds of local swimmers over decades. I have entered “the hard yards” period of my training progression, and still have a “training mountain” to climb, but this groundswell of public support has energised me to train harder than ever. I am hopeful that Guernsey’s corporate sector will recognise this momentum and support this community mission by entering corporate teams.’
On behalf of the Friends of the Vallette LBG Brian Chapman said:
“Adrian Sarchet is a Friend of La Vallette, a valued fundraiser and a true friend to all swimmers. There are so many volunteers who have helped Friends of La Vallette LBG in looking after the Bathing Pools over the years, and the provision of £31,000 towards the cost of the assisted access ramp is a fitting legacy that recognises the many hours that our volunteers have given”.
Helen Bonner-Morgan, Community Lead for Vive La Vallette LBG, organisers of the Challenge, said:
‘Not only are we indebted to Adrian for committing to this Challenge but also to those who have stepped up and supported the cause either through donations or a willingness to swim part of the way with Adrian. We are particularly appreciative of the most recent donation from the Friends of La Vallette LBG, a Guernsey charity which comprises in excess of 200 regular users of the Bathing Pools and with whom we have worked closely during the duration of the regeneration work to help ensure that the facilities will be accessible and enjoyed by all.’
The entry fee to enter a corporate team into The Sea Donkey 24 Hour Swim Challenge is £1,000, with 100% of the entry fee going directly to the new aspects of the facilities at the Bathing Pools which support accessibility for all. There are also a few remaining social team and individual slots for those looking to swim and fundraise(there is no entry fee for these slots).